Spinal surgery on tumors involving the spinal cord is the most challenging of all due to its high risk of possibly precipitating the neurological deficits that are disastrous.
Tumors that arise in the cervical ( neck ) region of the spinal cord are rare and pose great challenge to the Neurosurgeons. The tumor expand the spinal cord and produce neurological deficits viz; sensory and motor ( weakness of limbs/paralysis). Neither all spinal cord tumors can be totally removable nor they are greatly amenable for radiotherapy too.
Anna Mushi, a young housewife from Tanzania presented to us with progressive weakness of limbs, pain and disturbances in walking and limited daily activities. She had a long and large tumor that occupied 8 cms of the central part ( Intramedullary ) of the spinal cord in the neck that extended from the second to sixth cervical spine. This highly vascular tumor ( Ependymoma) was meticulously removed in total using Microsurgical technique by our team led by Dr.J.K.B.C.Parthiban,Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, Spine Neurosurgery, Apollo Hospitals Chennai. The surgery last for more than 6 hrs on July 9th 2012 at Apollo Specialty Hospital. The spinal cord was split vertically from the back and the tumor was dissected from the spinal cord neural tissues and removed safely preserving the motor and respiratory functions of the patient. Anna Mushi is now walking and undergoing rehabilitation at Apollo Specialty Hospital.
Neuro Spinal Surgery is an advancing speciality in Neurosurgery that address not only the soft spinal cord but also the spine ( bone ) . Skill in Microsurgery and Spinal Instrumentation are the hallmarks of this specialization.